Answering the questions that nobody asked me (but they did ask Bill Ladson and I consider us blood brothers after what happened in old Ceylon):
Should the Nationals trade Adam Dunn?
Bill's answer is not great here. He says he's not sure because even though Adam Dunn's offense was better than he expected that his defense is still not great and the Nats need better defense. This is all true but what's even MORE true is the example he brings up where the White Sox got rid of 2 outfielders, both of which could hit but neither of which could field well and then they went to the World Series! What's MORE true about that isn't that defense wins championships it's that you can make a pretty big difference in D by replacing outfielders. Adam Dunn isn't an outfielder.
I've made myself pretty clear : A fair deal for 2 years or less sure. Anything 3 years or more better be a real bargain. Anything more than 4 better be a sign and trade.
After leading the league in errors, is Ian Desmond still regarded as the Nationals' shortstop of the future?
Yes, but it's starting to get to be a "by deafault" situation rather than real excitement over a prospect. There's no one in the minors to push him yet and until that happens he's it. He's Future Short.
Do you think the Nationals will sign Ivan Rodriguez for 2012 after his two-year contract expires? Wouldn't it be nice if he's with Washington to collect his 3,000th hit and mentor young pitchers?
Geez, I sure hope the Nats don't sign a 40yr old catcher. I guess the idea is 3000 hits would be nice to see and if he's only a backup... Here's the problem. Pudge stands at 2771 hits right now so he'll need 229 hits. If he somehow manages to keep hitting as he has (over .300) and is about the same level of healthiness - he'll get another 60 or so hits this year, heading into next year he'll need 170 hits. Hello 2004. He's been averaging around 110 the past few years. Basically if everything goes right (no major injuries, still hitting decently) he'll still need about 50 hits in 2012 to get to 3000. That might not seem like a lot but that's a high number for a true backup player to get to. I guess if everything goes right for the next year and a half signing him to be a part-time starter in 2012 could be a possibility though.
Mike Morse has been hot. Why don't the Nationals play him every day? Roger Bernadina has been hot, too, but play one at center and the other in right -- it's not a bad problem for the Nats to have.
Because they want a great fielding CF and neither of these guys would be that. Morgan was supposed to be the answer, and is surprising with his poor play. In baseball if something surprises you it's likely to stop being surprising later on. The season is just that long and the numbers just work that way. So they're still hoping Nyjer turns it around in the 2nd half, and probably won't make any changes until the offseason. At least that's how I see it. Anyone they could deal for would likely be of Morgan's talent level or worse. Morse and Bernandina are ok but not anything you to make you give up on what was a solid plan only halfway into a season.
But what does your gut say: Will the Nats be buyers, sellers or stand pat in the weeks before the July 31 Trade Deadline?
Bill says minor buyers and I agree. Now should they be? I think Chris probably has it right. The pitching maybe pretty good in a couple years but there isn't anything outside of Zimmerman right now that you look at and go "Oh he's going to rock in 2013" (not yet for Bryce) and who knows if he'll stay. He probably will but who knows? So dealing for that future date in mind might be a mistake. Now not dealing for that future date will leave the minors just as weak as it is now, when smart dealing could boost it up so that in 2013, you might be able to see 3-4 guys that could help in 2015/2016, just when Strasburg should be peaking and getting maybe ready to leave. It might be a more enticing situation for him than if they have a good couple years in 2011 and 2012 almost making the playoffs and then start to decline with no help in sight. Of course that's major speculation.
Do you see John Lannan back in the Major League rotation with the Nationals this year?
Bill says he's not sure - the Nats have plenty of pitchers and Lannan isn't right yet. He wonders if he's injured, but says Lannan and the Nats medical staff say no. The Nats Medical Staff says no? Who's with me betting the house on YES?